People in Ireland are among the most prolific drinkers in the world, according to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Irish people over the age of 15 on average drink 11.9 litres of pure alcohol a year, according to the “Global status report on alcohol and health 2014”.
The report provides country profiles for alcohol consumption in the 194 WHO member states, looking at the resulting impact on public health and policy responses.
And it reveals that the harmful use of alcohol causes 3.3 million deaths a year worldwide.
Europe is the region with the highest consumption of alcohol per person, making up the entire top 10.
Belarus takes the top spot, with people on average drinking 17.5 litres of pure alcohol a year, followed by the Republic of Moldova where the figure is 16.8 litres and Lithuania at 15.4 litres.
Australia and Canada also have high levels of alcohol consumption, with people on average drinking 12.2 and 10.2 litres a year respectively.
In the United States the figure is marginally lower at 9.2 litres.
But in northern Africa and the Middle East, the average figure is less than 2.5 litres of alcohol per person, with many countries having figures below one litre.
The average figure globally is 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per person per year.
But as less than half the world population (38.3 per cent) actually drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 litres of pure alcohol annually, the report said.
Source: Irish Independent, 13/05/14